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Sculpture cover


Dec 2017
Vol. 36 No. 10

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
New York: Gehard Demetz - Jack Shainman Gallery
by Joyce Beckenstein
Gehard Demetz, Dirt On My Shoulders"Introjection," the title of Gehard Demetz's recent exhibition, is a psychoanalytic term that refers to how people subconsciously absorb and identify with the beliefs and actions of others, particularly children internalizing their perceptions of parental behavior. Demetz's rubric makes the pre-pubescent figures in the work particularly chilling. The Third Way (2017), for example, depicts a middleschool- age youngster staring disconsolately into space. He carries a gasoline can in one hand and a fire extinguisher in the other as casually as he might tote a bookbag and soccer ball. Will he set or extinguish a fire? Demetz's subjects exist as innocents who sense the damaged world handed down to them by their adult role models. They appear to be caught in a moral netherworld at that decisive moment when the unconscious self enters consciousness, when the lure of power repudiates innocence, and when they recognize the aloneness of shaping individual identity. Demetz lives in Val Gardena, Italy, a Dolomite town traditionally known for its religious and toy woodcarving. He brings a contemporary twist to Italian craftsmanship and depictions of the human figure in terms of process and subject matter. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Gehard Demetz, Dirt On My Shoulders, 2016.
Los Angeles: Jimmie Durham - Hammer Museum
by Kay Whitney
Jimmie Durham,Something... Perhaps a Fugue or an Elegy, 2005 Jimmie Durham's multi-layered, existential works are iterations on the theme of meaning and identification. "At the Center of the World," his traveling retrospective (on view at the Whitney through January 28, 2018), features the precipitate of his confrontation with art historical and art-making conventions. His work spans genres--from video, performance, and text and image to assemblage, found-object sculpture, and the politics of representation--much of it concerned with the colonial history of the Americas and global political struggles. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Jimmie Durham, Something... Perhaps a Fugue or an Elegy, 2005
Atlanta: Bojana Ginn - Whitespace Gallery
by Dorothy Joiner
Bojana Ginn, Supermassive Superstrings (Melt on Tongue), 2017Bojana Ginn, a medical doctor turned artist, joins her scientific background to an interest in art and emerging technologies, blending them with a highly refined sensitivity to the natural world. She creates multimedia installations of engaging beauty and intellectual complexity that create a union of the physical and digital realms--a notion whose com - plexity she explored in her recent show, "Phygital Muse." At once minimal and intricate, her work attempts to translate into art the processes of nature -- both mental and physical -- replication, mutation, and transformation. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Bojana Ginn, Supermassive Superstrings (Melt on Tongue), 2017
Atlanta: Mario Petrirena - Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia
by Dorothy Joiner
Mario Petrirena, daddy come ride with me, 1987With a manner analogous to literary stream-of-consciousness, Mario Petrirena juxtaposes "things" simply because they resonate with chords deep within. His work is therefore a kind of self-portrait, not of his appearance, but of his inner life, making concrete those often wispy, evanescent memories that can define a person even more definitively than his features. Composed of ceramic, collage, and found-object works, his recent show unfolded in four galleries, each with a particular focus: personal narrative, politics, beauty and transcendence, and finally, mortality. Largely autobiographical, the first room "introduced" Petrirena as a Cuban-American who came to the U.S. during the '60s in the aftermath of Castro's takeover, followed almost a year later by his parents. A battered tricycle next to a ceramic hand, daddy come ride with me (1987) is a poignant appeal to his hard-working but undemonstrative father, who lost several fingers in a sugar mill accident in Belle Glade, Florida. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Mario Petrirena, daddy come ride with me, 1987
Indianapolis, Indiana: Carlos Rolón - Big Car Collaborative -- Tube Factory artspace
by Robert C. Morgan
Carlos Rolón, Trophy Room, 2017 With the seasonal spectacles of the Indianapolis 500, NFL football, and NBA and NCAA basketball ingrained into the cityscape, Indianapolis often identifies as a "sports town," perhaps to the exclusion of other aspects of culture. Given Big Car Collaborative's mission regarding place-making and cultural inclusion, Carlos Rolón's recent exhibition, "50 Grand," was calculated not only to introduce quality work by a rising artist, but also to attract a widely diverse audience, including sports aficionados and Latino viewers. Big Car went well beyond cultural representation by offering unusual programming, such as live boxing in one of Rolón's installations. Rolón (who sometimes identifies as Dzine) creates custom lowrider cycles, cars, and boats, as well as visually rich, populist baroque installations. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Heinz Carlos Rolón, Trophy Room, 2017
New York: "Hearts and Bones" - ART100 New York
by Robert C. Morgan
Judy Pfaff, Turtle, 2016 Sometimes the intentions of artists do not fit the categories assigned to their mediums. There can be cross-overs between sculpture and painting, for instance, in which the connecting link is about content rather than form. Such was the case with "Hearts and Bones," a show that featured installations and drawings by Judy Pfaff and paintings by Kharis Kennedy. Curated by Michelle Loh, "Hearts and Bones" was a curiously intense exhibition with a certain poetic resonance that connected the two artists. Pfaff's commanding Turtle (2016), a major floor-to-ceiling installation, revolves around a large circular digital print, borrowed from a painting by Henri Rousseau but utterly transformed, covered in resin with hardened lumps of expanded foam creating a landscape of pressed fauna, all held together with binding wires attached to the ceiling. One might call this the centerpiece of the exhibition given its theatricality-- the relation of whole and detail unfolded across the space in an effect not unlike that of pointillism. The fantastic beauty of Turtle emerged in the process of walking around it from a distance and seeing the majestic evanescent forms slowly passing through one another. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Judy Pfaff, Turtle, 2016
New York: Entang Wiharso - Marc Straus Gallery
by Jonathan Goodman
Entang Wiharso, Double Protection, 2015 Entang Wiharso, based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and Rhode Island, titled his recent show "Promising Land." It's not clear if this referenced terrain is American or Indonesian, but most likely Wiharso is referring to the dream of affluence and ease identified with the U.S. and now emulated around the world. His recent work has increasingly turned toward a critique of the Americanization of global culture, looking askance at the heightened materialism that threatens to overwhelm the spiritual insight associated with Asian tradition. His low reliefs often incorporate brightly colored cars from the past, when the American dream seemed innocent, but they are also dense with trepidation and confusion, crowded with randomly distributed figures, whose skewed positions feel like a declaration of moral anarchy. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Entang Wiharso, Double Protection, 2015
Brattleboro, Vermont: Carolyn Enz Hack - Brattleboro Museum & Art Center
by B. Amore

Carolyn Enz Hack, Change Your Mind, 2017Entering the Brattleboro Museum's Mary Sommer Room project space and encountering Carolyn Enz Hack's Change Your Mind was an experience that clearly called for opening one's perception. The enormous spiral form, suspended on filament, filled the room like a magical life unfurling before one's eyes, somewhat akin to a fiddlehead fern in spring. The form was so continuous that it seemed as if it would go on traveling through space. On closer inspection, the complex interweaving of circles and squares cut out of wire mesh became apparent, though there was a plentiful sense of mystery, which led the viewer on a journey of exploration to try to figure out just how, exactly, Enz Hack accomplished this marvelous over-all effect. Enz Hack says that her work with translucent media relates to an earlier fascination with attempting to paint the ever-mutable flow of water--an apt description of Change Your Mind as it vibrated in space. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Carolyn Enz Hack, Change Your Mind, 2017

Berlin: Franka Hörnschemeyer - Galerie Nordenhake
by Stephanie Buhmann

Franka Hörnschemeyer, Imaginary State, 2016Imaginary State, Franka Hörnschemeyer's site-specific installation for the first-floor space of Galerie Nordenhake, explored and helped to underline the unique architecture of its location. Made of metal stud framing and drywall sheets, the labyrinthine construction was accompanied by a selection of architectural plans and objects made of various construction materials. Hörnschemeyer arranged many self-supporting modules into gridlike constructions of various heights and footprints. These followed the ceiling of the exhibition space, which is characterized by very pronounced parallel beams evocative of scaffolding. The resulting composition drew a vertical connection between sculpture and ceiling that helped to accentuate the latter's diversions. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Franka Hörnschemeyer, Imaginary State, 2016

Rome: Alfredo Pirri - MACRO (Museo d'Arte Contemporanea
by Laura Tansini

Alfredo Pirri, Alfredo Pirri's recent exhibition, "i pesci non portano fucili" ("Fish Don't Carry Guns"), was curated by Benedetta Carpi De Resmini and Ludovico Pratesi. The show was the final stage of a project with the same name initiated in November 2016 with an exhibition ("RWD-- FWD") at Pirri's studio/archive. Pirri chose the title as a tribute to Philip K. Dick's The Divine Invasion (1981), which imagines an unarmed society, fluid like the open sea, where one can be immersed and re-emerge, giving shape to multiform events. Pirri's twist is to propose a new model of cultural networking in which participating institutions are autonomous but in constant dialogue. "i pesci non portano fucili" brought together 50 of Pirri's most important works from the 1980s to the present, emphasizing his rhythmic alternation between fluidity and firmness, where rapid changes of technique become an allegory of mental shifts. Over the years, Pirri has experimented with everything from painting and sculpture to video and perfor mance, but regardless of medium, space, color, and light have remained constant themes--all serve his conception of the spacetime relationship, mediated by the process that leads to the artwork. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Alfredo Pirri, "i pesci non portano fucili", 2017

New Delhi: Ranjani Shettar - Talwar Gallery
by Chitra Balasubramaniam

Chitra Balasubramaniam, Honeysuckle and mercury in a thick midnight plot, 2016If there is one word that describes Ranjani Shettar's installations and sculptures, it is "happy." There is something bubbly, fun, and enthusiastic about her work, and it is infectious. Shettar herself laughingly says, "Someone remarked quite early in my working days as to why my works looked happy and not otherwise." This happiness, however, does not interfere with the work's ability to provoke thought. The narrative of her recent show, "Bubble trap and a double bow," concerned nature. Nature surrounds us; it is omnipresent, but never seen or understood, simply taken for granted. Shettar says, "Nature is really very smart. The way it works around the strength of the tree is amazing. Take the case of a tree which bears little seeds. Usually the seeds fall at the feet of the tree to germinate, while those which produce seeds in abundance scatter them in all directions. This little play in preservation inspires me in my works. Open wings of a precious secret takes off from this." ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Chitra Balasubramaniam, Honeysuckle and mercury in a thick midnight plot, 2016

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